Court rejects Turkish company lawsuit against the Environmental Statement for the Kalivaçi hydropower plant

Tirana, 28 May 2021. Today, the Administrative Court of Tirana has rejected as “fundamentally unfounded” the lawsuit for the development of HPP Kalivaç against the “Negative Environmental Statement” issued by the Ministry of Environment for the “Environmental Impact Assessment” served from the company. The Ministry and the National Environment Agency were joined and supported by the environmental organizations like EuroNatur, Riverwatch and EcoAlbania as well as 39 members of the local community affected by the Kalivaçi project.

In September 2020, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment issued the “Negative Environmental Statement”, not giving the green light to the company to continue the procedures for the construction of the Kalivaçi HPP. After that, in February 2021, the Turkish company filed a lawsuit (in Albanian) in the Administrative Court to overturn this decision, but the court rejected it today. Lawyer Vladimir Meci says: “In this trial we brought reasonable arguments of many foreign and local scientist, whom have criticized the Environmental Impact Assessment presented to the authorities”.

Residents affected by the project as well as national and foreign environmental organizations have opposed the Kalivaçi hydropower, rising concern about the negative impact that the HPP will have to the biodiversity and the life of the residents who live by the Vjosa River.

“We welcome the court’s decision and we think that this is another message for the government that should finally resign from the projects to construct hydropower plants and to make Vjosa River a National Park,” – says Olsi Nika from EcoAlbania.

The battle for the protection of the Vjosa River and declaration of it a “National Park” according to international parameters, is an initiative that has been supported by many important personalities, but also by activists around the world.